WordPress has gained significant popularity over the years, as it offers the largest collection of themes and plugins. WordPress has made it convenient for websites and blogs to be created with the available themes in the market. However, it is not as simple as it sounds; developers often find themselves in situations where the hard decision of choosing between a Free and a Premium Theme has to be made.
The most apparent choice for any user is to go for a free theme, only because it does not cost anything. The big question is why some users agree to pay for a Premium theme when they have the option to get themes for free?If you too are confused by this question, then this article is for you. Through this article we will highlight the differences between free and premium themes, to help you in making a choice. Refer to WPArena article 10 Things To Look For When Selecting a WordPress Theme.
We initiate the discussion by providing a comparison between the advantages and disadvantages of both free and premium themes. For more information refer to best WordPress Premium Themes to select the most suitable theme for your site.
- Cost-effective: First of all, a free theme is free of cost. Therefore, no initial investment is required by the developers to start a website.
- Quality: Majority of the users are under the impression that free themes offer a concession in the quality. However, free themes have been found to provide the same quality to users as a premium theme.
- Support: Another misconception that users have about free themes is that there is no support or assistance available for themes that are free. There might be limitations, but help is available.
- Review: Free themes are built with the same level of commitment by the designers and developers. The themes are tested and corrected for errors despite being free.
- Experience: In my opinion, the most significant benefit that a free theme offers to an individual is that it can be used and experimented with beforehand. Users can use different themes and discard them without any cost, to select the most suitable theme for their website.
- Features: Free themes offer a limited number of features, and there are lesser choices of customization. For example, there might not be the availability of a large number of designs, and you may end up creating a website that is not unique.
- Limited support: As mentioned in the previous section that free themes do provide support to users, but this consumer support is often limited to a few questions, and the process is often time taking.
- Updates: Unfortunately, the majority of the free themes are not updated for free.
- Reliability: Since free themes are not correctly coded, the chances of your website crashing are technically high and repairing the site may cost a lot of money.
- Quality: Premium themes are guaranteed to provide a high-quality experience to the users. Therefore, the developers ensure that these themes are tested and will function efficiently.
- Features: Premium themes are loaded with a range of features and functionalities to provide users with never-ending options for creating sites. (Some plugins are also included in the theme packages).
- Support: The support centers for premium themes are available for the users to ensure all the queries which are received. Therefore, premium theme users are more satisfied.
- Information: From my experience, I can say that there is a vast availability of guidance reviews for premium themes as compared to free themes. There are more reviews, comments, tutorials by users of premium themes to provide beginners an overview of the product.
- Security: As mentioned before, premium themes are better coded, so the websites are protected from threats and hackers.
- Updates: Premium themes run on constant updates, and the majority of the price plans offer lifetime updates at relatively lower costs.
- SEO & Multi-linguistic: Premium themes are SEO optimized and allow the site to be translated into a range of languages.
- Costly: Premium themes require investment. Sometime, the themes may be overly priced.
- Hype: Some premium themes may sometimes offer the same features and specifications. On the other hand, premium themes may provide too many features that might of no use to the users. Learn some of the best tips to choose a premium theme.
A fundamental question that is often asked from the developers is what they gain from creating and distributing themes that are free? The answer can be summed up by the quote “Nothing in life and nothing that we do is risk-free.”
The real deal is that a free theme is a product of carrying out tests by the developers as well. Developers test their themes without any cost externalities and allow them to be used for free to learn more about their product. So what seems to be a free product for you, is, in fact, someone else’s experiment.
Take it as a typical source of marketing where product makers distribute free samples to find out the market response, before launching their final product. In this way, developers understand the requirements of the users.
According to the facts provided above, I would recommend the newbies to use premium themes initially. This will ensure that you receive professional help and premium themes can save your time and effort. Premium themes may require the initial investment, but once the theme starts functioning, your return on the investment will begin increasing.
Jazib Zaman is amongst the most popular names in the IT and software industry. He is the founder of world famous project WPArena. WPArena has been listed by all the major newspapers and media giants.